The Legacy Society
The Legacy Society
Meet Our Legacy Society Members
A Love Story Inspires a Heartfelt Gift to The ALS Association

Meet Legacy Society Members Bill Robinson and Betty Scharf

Bill Robinson and Betty Scharf
Bill Robinson and Betty Scharf

It was a fateful day in 2008 when Bill Robinson, 84, met Betty Scharf, 77, at their retirement village in Southern California. Their shared love of duplicate bridge spawned an unexpected romance. Then, just a little over a year later, their close relationship led to a lovely, generous gift to The ALS Association.

In December 2009, Bill's sister, Nancy Reckinger, passed away. In her will, Nancy asked something rather unusual of Bill. She wanted him to select charitable organizations worthy of receiving her estate, which was surprisingly large for a woman who'd dedicated her life to public education.

Bill turned for advice to Betty, his "sweetheart." Betty shared her hopes that Bill might consider a gift to The ALS Association. Her husband died of ALS in 1990 at age 58, and Betty was concerned her three children, all now in their fifties, could possibly face a similar fate.

Bill, who said he shares a "big, emotional attachment" to Betty's children, agreed immediately to give one-third of Nancy's estate to The ALS Association. With Betty, Bill chose to support the North East ALS Consortium (NEALS), a network of clinical trials centers throughout the U.S. that is ready to test promising compounds in people with ALS, as well as provide opportunities for training of newer investigators to participate in clinical trials for ALS.

Betty is excited to be making this difference in the lives of others. "I just can't tell you how thrilling it is to me," she commented. "Not just for my children and grandchildren, but I've worked very hard for The ALS Association, and I saw all the wonderful people whose lives were touched by this terrible, terrible disease."

Bill is philosophical about honoring his sister's memory, noting, "I hope this story might cause other people to join the fight, and that it inspires and motivates others to follow suit."

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The Legacy Society